Colorado-based environmental organization Rock the Earth has announced its 2010 Planet Defender Awards , in conjunction with their national Rock the Earth Day celebration. Grammy-award winning musician Bonnie Raitt, Stop Global Warming Founder Laurie David, and Louie Psihoyos, Executive Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society and the Director of the Academy Award winning documentary "The Cove", were selected as the winners in three categories. Planet Defender recipients are nominated by Rock the Earth members and chosen by Rock the Earth's National Volunteer Staff.
This year's winner in the ARTIST category, Bonnie Raitt is as known for her lifelong commitment to social activism as she is for her music. She has long been involved with the environmental movement, doing concerts in support of the preservation of natural resources and wilderness areas since the mid-70s. She was a founding member of MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) which produced the historic concerts, album and movie, NO NUKES in 1979. She has been especially active in the fight to preserve our ancient forests, performing numerous concerts, lobbying in Washington and getting arrested twice in support of a change in forest policy. This past year, Rock the Earth was blessed to have been a recipient of a fundraising Grant from the The BonTaj Collective Action Fund for their environmental protection work. RtE applauds Bonnie Raitt for setting a stellar example of how to Rock the Earth in a conscientious manner.
Says Bonnie Raitt, musician/activist, "As a long-time advocate for the environment and safe energy, it is such an honor to receive the Planet Defender award from Rock the Earth. This organization has been a faithful non-profit partner in my ongoing effort to share the message of ultimate environmental responsibility with fans at my concerts. Thank you, Rock the Earth, for helping to spread the word about protecting the environment and encouraging people to get involved at the local level. Keep up the great work!"
Laurie David is devoted to stopping global warming. She founded the Stop Global Warming organization with Senator John McCain and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. that is engaging religious leaders, sports figures, elected officials from all sides of the aisle, business leaders, and every day Americans to urge the United States to address the ticking time bomb that is global warming. Before working full time on environmental and political issues, Ms. David had a distinguished career in entertainment spanning two coasts. She began her career in New York City as a talent coordinator for the David Letterman show. Four years later she left to start her own management company, representing many of today's top comedians as well as comedy writers.
She also produced several comedy specials for HBO, Showtime, MTV, and Fox Television. Upon moving to Los Angeles, Ms. David became vice president of comedy development for a division of Fox Broadcasting and developed sitcoms for Twentieth Century Television. A tireless advocate, her commitment to fighting global warming has earned Laurie the Planet Defender award as COMMUNITY LEADER.
"I am honored to be named one of 2010's Planet Defenders by Rock the Earth. It is inspiring to know there are so many people and organizations like Rock the Earth working tirelessly to protect the environment and raise awareness for environmental issues. Unfortunately, the globe is warming and it is going to take every one of us to solve this problem. It's not about everybody doing everything, but it is about everybody doing something and together, with small acts in our daily lives, and big acts from the international community, we all can help stop global warming," says Laurie David.
Executive Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society and the film, The Cove, Louie Psihoyos has been widely regarded as one of the top photographers in the world. His ability to bring humanity and wit to complicated science stories carries over to his filmmaking. An ardent diver and dive photographer, he feels compelled to show the world the decline of our planet's crucial resource, water. The Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 by photographers, filmmakers, and eco-activists.
Sparked by the love of the oceans, and concern at their evident decline, OPS brings to the world, through visual media, a picture of what is happening on 70% of our planet. OPS's first film, The Cove , won Audience Awards around the globe. It has also prompted many to take action to protect our oceans, its creatures, and our planet. Louie's commitment and passion to bring this to light on the large screen- garners him Rock the Earth's Planet Defender award as GRASSROOTS ACTIVIST.
Louie Psihoyos says, "on behalf of all of us who have worked on the film, "The Cove," at the Oceanic Preservation Society, it is a great honor to receive the Planet Defender Award. We set out to not just make a movie but to create a movement. Due to pollution, plundering and acidification everything in the oceans, from the great whales to plankton is in peril. These are huge issues but I have hope. We don't need turn around all of humanity - sometimes great social change comes from a few noble acts of passionate individuals. We at OPS tried to make a film that would create awareness about ocean issues and inspire viewers to help create change and we see that happening now - the movie is helping to create legions of activists."
This year's Planet Defenders join last year's recipients: Musicians, Incubus; Community Leader, Van Jones of Green For All and Grassroots Activist Jessy Tolkan of Energy Action Coalition, as those we honor as individuals who embody Rock the Earth's mission to Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time. Each Planet Defender recipient will receive a one-of-a-kind award collectively created by artists Joe Benvenuto, Jason Garrett and Chico Raskey (Chico Artglass).
Planet Defender Awards - Past Winners
Dave Matthews Band
Rock the Earth is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, national public interest environmental advocacy organization, committed to protecting and defending America's natural resources through partnerships with the music industry and the worldwide environmental community. Rock the Earth represents those individuals and communities whose environment or natural surroundings are directly and adversely affected by the actions of others.
Through partnerships with diverse musical artists such as Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Michael Franti, Sheryl Crow and Bon Jovi, Rock the Earth educates and activates fans to pursue a vision of global sustainability and environmental responsibility. We will continue to honor those individuals we feel embody Rock the Earth's drive to Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time.
For more information about Rock the Earth, visit www.RockTheEarth.org.